There are dozens of websites you use for bartering and swapping. And it’s a great way to build community and exchange goods, especially when you’re short on cash. It’s also an eco-friendly way to save money and avoid throwing things away. Even if you are completely broke, you likely have something in your home or in storage that someone else will want, and vice versa. This article will discuss some sites that will help you get started with bartering or swapping today!
What is Bartering/Swapping?
The act of bartering and swapping items and services is somewhat of a lost art in today’s society. But our grandparents and great-grandparents were experts at it! Bartering, by definition, is the act of exchanging goods or services without using money. You can exchange virtually anything through bartering or swapping! Here are some examples:
- Exchanging babysitting every other weekend with a neighboring family
- Offering to do car repair work in exchange for housecleaning
- Trading homemade bread for your friend’s garden-fresh produce
- Doing computer repair in exchange for content for a website
- Swapping vacation homes with another person
- Pet-sitting in exchange for dog-walking
- Trading online tutoring for lawn care
- Trading baby clothes for toddler clothes
- Trading unwanted shoes with friends during a shoe swap
- Holding a toy swap with other families that have kids
- Offering to wrap gifts in exchange for holiday shopping
- Trading makeup with your best friend
Whether you want to swap the same item for another size or color, swap a service you can provide for something you really want or even trade services, the sky’s the limit. The only caveat when bartering or swapping is that you cannot use currency!
Best Sites for Bartering and Swapping
Below, we will discuss the best and most popular sites currently on the web for bartering and swapping. While some of these sites aren’t directly intended to be used for bartering, they have historically been used for trading items or services regardless. You could use just one of these sites or a combination of several. You’ll want to do a little research to see which one offers you the most bartering potential.
Listia is a unique swapping website where you “sell” your items for points on the site instead of trading stuff directly. The site’s format is similar to eBay or Amazon, but instead of using currency, you only use Listia points to buy and sell on the platform.
It’s free to join, and you’ll get 50 free points when you sign up and 50 free points once you list your first item. This site is excellent for those with many smaller things to get rid of, as the points can rack up for larger items over time.
If you’ve ever bought or sold anything online, you’ve probably heard of Craigslist already. Mainly, it’s a virtual marketplace and forum to post about local happenings or air grievances. However, there is also a section on the site dedicated to bartering.
Additionally, if you don’t want to use that section (which often gets fewer views), you can also just post a listing under the “for sale” section and put “FOR TRADE” in the title of your listing to let people know you are swapping or bartering.
Like Craigslist, Facebook is a popular online social network that, while it was not initially intended for bartering, has become a place to do so. On Facebook, there is a section called Facebook Marketplace where you can list, sell, and buy items from your Facebook friends and others.
Here’s how bartering works on the platform: Suppose you want to barter or trade using the Facebook marketplace. In that case, you can list something for an unusually high dollar amount and put “FOR TRADE” in the title so that no one accidentally purchases it.
BarterQuest is a terrific site for trading or swapping and one of the few sites where you can truly trade anything. Aside from the usual goods, clothing, and home items you can exchange on the site, you can also swap services or even real estate.
There are both “Have” and “Want” posts on BarterQuest, which means you can either post something you already own that you want to trade or something you hope to find someone else trading. You can make an offer on anyone’s “Have” post, even if you don’t have exactly what they’re looking for.
Buy Nothing Community
The Buy Nothing Project is not really one website. It’s more like a set of individual communities in different towns, cities, or regions. Each group aims to give and receive merchandise or items without ever exchanging any money.
There are more than 7,000 Buy Nothing groups online worldwide, many of them operating on Facebook. There is also a Buy Nothing app available for iOS or Android, where you can enroll, set your guidelines for how far you want to trade, and make your first posts.
If you have a lot of books lying around that you no longer want, trading them for some you might actually read is a brilliant idea! BookMooch is the perfect place to do this!
BookMooch allows you to post listings for books you own, and users on the site will request them. You then ship the books using your own shipping method and get points in exchange. Then, you can use your accumulated points to request books on the site. It’s a perfect trade-off; no money changes hands except for paying shipping fees.
Similar to sites like Poshmark or Depop, Vinted is a site designed to help users buy and sell new and used clothing, shoes, accessories, and more. While Vinted is generally considered a buying and selling marketplace, users often exchange items on the site using a trading or bartering technique.
For example, if two users have listings they would like to trade, they work the exchange out amongst themselves and then mark the items as sold.
FreeCycle isn’t a website where you actually swap items but rather a network of many small communities. These groups give away unwanted items to people who want them rather than adding them to the landfill.
Essentially, a FreeCycle group is a giant, free yard sale, similar to a Buy Nothing group. Many FreeCycle groups meet on Facebook and have individual rules, so go hunting for your local group if you’re interested.
Depop, similar to Vinted, is a site for people to buy and sell clothing, shoes, and accessories. The app is focused primarily on Gen Z and has a lot of designer or handmade items from independent shops.
While it is technically a marketplace, many people use the app to trade and barter items. So if you see something you want that another user has, see if you can work out an exchange.
Gumtree is essentially the UK and Australian version of Craigslist. You can list classified advertisements on Gumtree, many dedicated to buying and selling new or used items. However, users can take advantage of three sections on the site to trade or barter.
These sections are “Freebies,” “Stuff Wanted,” and “Swap Shop.” The freebies section is where people are giving things away. Stuff wanted is for posting items you’re searching for. And the swap shop section is for those actively looking to trade something.
Bartering Builds Community
Bartering not only allows you to exchange goods or services without using money, but it also builds community. Of course, bartering happens all the time in your own family, neighborhood, or community. But the internet has made it easier than ever to extend bartering and swapping past regional boundaries. If bartering sounds like something you could get into, be sure to check out the sites we’ve listed above!